Whenever I chat to my mother, who works at a primary school, I often hear about the latest goings on there. From our last chat I learned that Barclays Bank have been sending groups of staff to the school to do things for free, such as painting benches, walls and other jobs like that. Upon hearing this I immediately felt a chill down my spine, but I told myself to reserve judgement until I heard all the facts.
She revealed that on their latest visit Barclays Bank sent over sixteen members of staff to paint five raised beds, which the school grows vegetables in. She told me that when the group went for a self-congratulatory pizza on their lunch break they downed their brushes and simply left their tins of paint in the playground without putting the lids back on. My mother and her colleagues were flabbergasted by such featherbrained behavior and took it upon themselves to cover the tins of paint with a dust sheet and stand guard by them in order to prevent any accidents happening whilst the children were in the playground.
She also explained how the group had not cleaned, dusted down or sanded the woodwork before they started painting, which is exactly what people do who don’t really care about what they’re doing and just want to get it done as quickly as possible. People who care about they’re doing would take the time to prepare the surfaces they are going to paint in order to achieve the best-looking and longest-lasting finish.
Several months before this another group of Barclays Bank staff had visited the school and painted some benches in the playground. However, the paint is now peeling off of these benches which suggests they didn’t use the right type of paint or they didn’t bother to prepare the surfaces in order to allow the paint to take properly.
On another occasion a merry band of virtuous Barclays do-gooders took on the task of scraping paint off of some interior walls with a view to re-painting them. However, they never returned to finish the job for reasons my mother is unsure of.
Let me ask you this. If I turned up on your doorstep and offered to service your boiler as a gesture of goodwill and out of a sense of community spirit, what would you say? If we presume that you know me to be a sane and trustworthy person, then your initial reaction would probably be, “great! The boiler’s over there.” But what if I then told you that I’m not actually qualified to service boilers and know very little about plumbing or central heating? You’d probably say, “Well, I appreciate the gesture and all, but what’s the point if you don’t know what you’re doing? You might just end up costing me more in the long run if you break something or don’t do something properly.”
Why such thoughts didn’t enter the mind of the headmaster of the school is beyond me. Perhaps she just presumed that they would do a good job or anything like a good job, but that’s a risky assumption of a group of people who work in a bank. If it was instead a group of trainee decorators, say, then such an assumption would be reasonable. I wonder whether the headmaster considered at all why a bank would offer to do odd jobs around a school for free? Did she simply presume their motive to be entirely altruistic? Did she not consider what the bank might stand to gain from it and that this might be so valuable to them that it would be worth sending 16 of their staff out for the day?
It seems to me that the only reason Barclays Bank are visiting schools and doing odd jobs for free is to produce positive publicity for it in the local area, and therefore generate more business. If it was really about ‘giving back to the local community’, or whatever chilling rhetoric it is that they’re disseminating, then they wouldn’t be doing such half-arsed jobs.
It’s a primary school for fuck’s sake! A place with lots of small children! if I was painting things in a school playground, then I would use the right type of paint, make the effort to take even more care than usual and do the best job I possibly could. I would do this simply because whatever you’re painting is probably going to be enduring exceptional wear and tear and because I wouldn’t want children to be exposed to (or eating) flaking or peeling paint that I hadn’t applied correctly. Primarily, though, I would do this because I’m not an amoral shit bag who is happy to exploit children and cost schools money in the long-term for personal gain.
If I was an amoral shit bag who was happy to exploit children in order to gain a falsely positive reputation, then I would skip from school to school claiming to be some kind of DIY Robin Hood and painting stuff for free with paint that has been sitting in my garage for 15 years and slapping it on as quickly as possible. My name would be Barclays Bank.
Doing crappy paint jobs isn’t all Barclays Bank have been up to in schools, oh no. They’ve also been visiting secondary schools in order to ‘educate’ students on the world of finance by running ‘money skills workshops’. Here’s how one school describes its ‘partnership’ with Barclays.
“As part of our drive to create enterprising students, Barclays Bank visited our school to introduce Year 7 to the skills of budgeting and the language of finance. Students worked with volunteers from the bank in small groups at different challenges. They were asked to use terms like investment, deficit and accounting and to prepare a budget for a party. All the students enjoyed the morning and spoke about how they were now better informed about finance and banking.”
Of course, I can absolutely guarantee you that Barclays Bank wouldn’t have taught students how Fractional Reserve Banking is a scam that enables banks to make the obscene profits that they do, how every single mortgage, credit card and loan is in reality a legal fraud, how fiat currencies are worthless, that 97% of the currency now in circulation was created out of nothing by banks, that all money is debt and that the world’s monetary system created and perpetuated by governments is utterly unsustainable.
So let’s describe what is happening in our society today. Headteachers of schools all over the country are sanctioning the exploitation and indoctrination of children by banks. The banks gain much by way of positive publicity and potential increased business whereas the children, apart from some crappily painted benches, dogma and false information, gain nothing at all.
Children are often the most badly treated minority group in any society. It’s highly likely that what your children are learning in state schools about the world they are to inhabit as adults is completely disconnected from reality, especially when banks are dropping in to inject a few more non-truths in children’s brains; therefore parents must take it upon themselves to teach their children simple truths about the systems we live under, which are only going to become more unstable and volatile in the near future.